Buzz

“Six?”

I shook my head and smiled again.

She bit her bottom lip, but under the circumstances, her demeanor actually changed very little.

Ana was a tough nut to crack. We’d met through this or that, the ways people uptown meet. She was bright, book smart, art smart, fit, and fashionable. Pretty and self conscious; a puzzle of desire and nervousness. We’d fallen into both flirting and friendship at the same time and there had been a long lull as we tried to figure out which one to pursue. In the end we picked a little from “column A” and a little from “column B.” Luckily, I’d set up my life to facilitate that sort of answer to that sort of question.

A week or so before our date, our conversation via email had turned to sex toys. I mentioned that I had reviewed them for a while and she skirted around the issue of needing some new ones. These were lovely little charged correspondences that made my days at work fly by. Passive flirtation; we weren’t talking about sex, we were talking about sex toys! As safe as talking about stereo equipment. Like so many things, there were layers of self defense and acknowledging self defense.
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Choke

The girls were sat on a blanket, back to back; naked, save their panties. The black blanket was laid neatly on the somewhat dusty hardwood floor. I knelt in front of Margot and Hector knelt in front of Betty. The rope was around both of their pretty necks. Looped and looped around and around. Their hands tied at their sides, their backs held straight out of either eagerness to please or suspense at what might happen next.

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Sick Girl

The whine was a little girl noise: a pouting, stubborn groan of frustration. I heard it when I opened the door and let the light from the hall break the spell of darkness in her room.

On the pink bed, the girl was covered in blankets, pillows, comforters, even stuffed animals. She sniffled somewhere under there and in a voice that sounded much more adolescent than what a college student should sound like, she whined, “go away.”

I had to laugh. I left the door open a little, enough to see at least. I crept over to the bed, looking around at the bowl of half eaten soup and cups of tea.

I took off my pants as she pulled the blanket down enough to watch me with furled eyebrows and pursed frowning lips. I took my shirt off next and placed it with my pants on the chair next to her bed.
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Theses

We saw movies. That’s what we did. We saw movies and went to museums.

I met Elise when she briefly worked in my office. She was one of those girls who grew up rich, but Upper West Side rich, not Upper East Side rich. The difference was super-preppy private schools versus super-intellectual immersive savant schools. She went to the latter and left with a rich inner life and a love of art and music and books that most people had never heard of. That, and the inability to really connect with most anyone.

There were the phobias; elevators, undercooked meat, docks, public speaking, crowded spaces, dark alleys, Antarctica, gum. Her worst fear was that she would swallow a piece of chewing gum. She told me she thought about it constantly, though it didn’t stop her from constantly chewing the most sugary, garish pink stuff she could find.

Then there was the OCD and the ADD and the cocktail of pharmacology. She was not trapped within the rigors of counting things and washing hands, but there were little things, more than quirks but less than crippling. There were also the daddy issues because he was like God to her, and the mommy issues because her mother told her she was fat when she was 12. There was a lot going on in this girl’s head.

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Ménage à Text

Truth be told, Elise didn’t even really like him. That’s not to say she wasn’t already wet when she got off at his subway stop and climbed the familiar stairs into the lingering evening sun. She hadn’t been to his apartment in weeks. She hadn’t walked through the dirty streets of his neighborhood, next to the big school with the high metal fence and the little stores with the weird religious candles and the exotic smells.

All right, maybe she liked him in some weird way. He could be a good friend, in his own fashion, if he wanted to, but he was so very full of himself sometimes, so very Mark. They had dated for a while around two years ago, and maybe they were even in love for a couple of minutes, but Mark was an ass and that all disintegrated quickly. He was a much better fuck than he ever was a boyfriend.

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Following a Mouse

She seemed like a little mouse. That’s how I thought of her, what I called her in my head. My little mouse. Oh, how I was wrong.

That’s the way it is being a man sometimes. You see a woman and she can’t look you in the eyes. She is sweet and pretty and her cheeks go red when you joke with her and you think you know her. You imagine her small and innocent and you are tall and strong and can show her the world. In a way it is comforting. It makes you powerful. All the secrets of desire are yours to show her.

Real life is far more complex, and far more interesting.

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Mister McIntyre’s Secret, Part Nine

Mister McIntyre’s Secret, Part Nine

I’ve been given a notebook and a pen and I’ve been told to write down everything. Everything? If I am going to do that I guess I need to give you a little background, after all, who knows who might be reading this?

My name is Abigail. I’m twenty-two, boring and not very pretty. I don’t have fancy dresses or lots of makeup, but somehow I am in a lavish mansion sitting in a room full of interesting people watching a beautiful woman about to get–well, I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Betty the Bruiser

I came home to find the apartment in disarray. A lamp, which was still on, was laying on the floor, shining a spotlight on the half empty bookshelf. The books were strewn about floor and one was soaking up the water that a vase once held, the violets having been trampled.

My Betty was a bruiser, a broad shouldered girl, too tall to ever be comfortable in her own skin. She’d been beaten into shape as a kid by her step-father, that was until she was old enough to kick his ass.

She sat on the kitchen floor with the last of my good bourbon. Unlaced roller-skates, a black skirt, and one of my old white t-shirts. Her tattoos were nothing but shadows under the white cotton, thick black and red lines peeking out.

“We lost,” she slurred and gave me a particularly petulant glare.

I poured myself a glass of water and leaned on the counter of the small kitchen, looking down at her as she rocked the bottle of amber liquid on the black and white tiled floor.

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Let Go

It started with Jones from accounting. He was called into an office, so routine, and then security came and unplugged his computer. Donna Moore was next, she was some kind of account rep. In a week Baker, Lee and Hernandez were all gone.

They all walked out of that office with same dull numb looks on their face, like they’d seen a ghost.

They took on all of accounting and all of the account reps, cutting roughly a third of their numbers. Though I had some evidence I was safe, you never know.

Katie had been this ever-present force in my office life. Nothing serious, nothing real, just flirting. A passing glance, a little smile, a look that lasted a second too long. We never even really spoke much but she suddenly became my best friend when the trouble started.

She would swing over to my desk when the smokers went out on their breaks. We had the bond of the clean lunged.

I had always noticed her. Tallish, a little broad shouldered and obviously originally from the Midwest. Some of those Midwest girls have a certain build; a little stocky like field hockey players – and they never lose that. She was that type, but with the poise and fashion sense of someone who had lived in Manhattan for a few years. Shoulder length chocolate brown hair that was shiny and smooth, a very expensive cut. She wore designer clothes and had a million shoes. She liked to look good and smell good.
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